As the coronavirus vaccines are finalized and become ready for distribution, the question remains as to who gets the first round of doses. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an arm of the CDC, recently reached a nearly-unanimous vote on Monday approving a three step plan for vaccine distribution:
- Phase 1a: Healthcare workers and residents in long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1b: Essential workers.
- Phase 1c: Adults with immune system problems and those over age 65.
It is believed that truck drivers will be amongst Phase 1b.
The Importance of Truckers
While the list of who is defined as an essential worker under this plan has not been yet laid out, common sense would determine that truckers would be such a group of essential workers. After all, they keep the national economy going as they deliver goods of all sorts throughout the pandemic, will be needed to distribute the vaccines to others, and come into contact with various people over a large distance. Giving them vaccines so that they may become immunized and unable to transmit the virus to other people would do a great deal of slowing transmission.
The Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have been as cooperative as they can with managing the pandemic. They have provided hours-of-service exemptions for those hauling supplies related to coronavirus for almost a year now, with other exemptions being made where possible to help truckers do their jobs more quickly.
“The Department has laid the groundwork for the safe transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine and is proud to support this historic endeavor,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
The coronavirus pandemic has everyone tired at this point, whether they have it or not. Social distancing, masks everywhere, events cancelled, it is a majorsome burden even if never contracted. Hopefully truckers are on that list of essential workers that will receive the inoculations before the general public, and the trucker life can return to some modicum of normality, where there is no need for face masks at truck stops or gloves at the diesel pump.
States have until Friday the 4th to determine where the vaccines they order should be physically delivered.